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Converged handsets becoming irresistible

Jun 30, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Annual shipments of “converged” handsets — devices combining cellular and WiFi wireless — will exceed 132 million units by 2010, In-Stat forecasts. Carriers have been reluctant to offer WiFi-capable handsets for several reasons, but WiFi has now “spread so fast that they will not be able to resist much longer,” the analyst firm suggests.

In-Stat's research found that more than 20 cellular handset models now have, or will soon be released with, embedded WiFi. Some of these dual-mode handsets incorporate VoIP clients for services like Skype, and a few cellular carriers are planning to offer services that support voice calls over both cellular and WiFi. And while it had been assumed that business customers would be first to adopt dual mode handsets, it turns out that consumers are likely to be initially more receptive to the technology, In-Stat notes.

In-Stat analyst Allen Nogee said, “in the end, most US cellular carriers will embrace Wi-Fi in their handsets, as carriers know that if they don't, other carriers will, and these carriers will likely steal away some of their customers.”

In-Stat's complete report, “The Road to Convergence: Wi-Fi/Cellular Handsets Get a Voice”, is available for a fee, here.

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